I Can't Escape: Darkness is a quicksand trap for the senses - the more you listen and look for clues, the deeper you fall into a damp, living dungeon. Plunge into the depths and scrape together whatever tools you can find, then try to escape one of the most diabolical puzzles of all time!
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (34 reviews) - 94% of the 34 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 17, 2015

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February 2

The Sounds of Darkness Update v1.1.21

Sound has always been a vital part of I Can't Escape: Darkness, it sets the mood and creates the immersion that makes the game effective. There were a lot of sounds we had originally planned for the game, but couldn't add in time for release, but with this update, all of those sounds have been added. Yes, all of them - I think our composer and sound designer, Chase Bethea, needs a big round of applause for finishing them so quickly!

In this update, we have added 146 sound effects for items, weapons and all sorts of interesting events in game. So give it a try, and prepare to be enveloped by all of the sounds of darkness.

Also, for this update, Chase has written a letter to the fans of the game, and shared a documentary - which is very interesting to watch especially if you've ever had any interest in how sounds for games are made!

Documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8RcGwY2Qw0

Chase's Letter to Fans

Dear Players,

It has been a great pleasure knowing that you have enjoyed the experience for I Can't Escape:Darkness. The sound and music was extremely important to me and I wanted you all to have the best experience possible.

There were many days that I doubted myself and didn't think that I could do it. I racked my brains and thought, "How can I make this music and sound effects more immersive? How can I make it better than the first score?" I tried to put myself in your shoes as the player and see what would be too much? What would be too annoying?

I did a lot of research by playing old games such as Silent Hill 2, Theif, Dead Space and the first Tomb Raider. I strengthened my atomospheric sound through this research and tried new techniques that I have never done before such as layering and binaural mixing. I balanced and tested the volumes. I tweaked the parameters of the reverb for the reflections. I went through numerous iterations of playback balancing ensuring that you would not be distracted from a monotonous loop.

I spent sleepiness nights, sometimes eight days straight or more, to create every single sound you hear in the game from scratch. Whether it was synthsized or recorded with my own hands with my own props in my own custom made Foley stage that I specifically built for the project.

There were nights that I have awoken out of my sleep to record custom sounds in the mini Foley for the game because there was not enough silence in the day or a milestone deadline was upon me.

I remember sleeping one night and waking up around 5am hearing a whirring sound in the room. At first, I thought I dreamnt it, but I didn't. After a week, I discovered the sound was coming from my vent when the air was on and as it turned off, it made that whirring sound. That sound inspired the sound you hear when the player begins to see the lucid mushroom vision.

I bought PS4 games and ripped the sound from them so that I could make A/B comparisons to the quality of a AAA title to match an Independent title. Then, I would go play the game to see how the implementation was done.


But, to know that when you all are playing, that everything you touch, pick up, encounter, drop and interact with has a sound indidcating that there is a connection and that you are in that maze. That there is no hope and that you can't escape. I know how much you, the gamer, care about the sound and that is why I gave it my all. I am a one man team for the audio.

I did all the 271 sound effects by myself. Originally there were only about 50-75 sound effect assets that were needed but the game grew. I must say, as the asset list grew I felt like I wasn't going to escape making sound effects for the game haha. However, I did. For this sound effects update, after working 9 days straight, and with little sleep, I finished on 12/30/2015 at 10:33am. These are the sound effects that I meant to have completed by the time of initial release. I apologize. I try to live by the standards of the old school. When a game ships it ships with no holes & no pockets. Everything is tight.

For those of you reviewed the game who felt that the sound was not fully complete, I apologize. My expectation was for everything be as top notch quality and have solid implementation for the full purpose of immersion. I assure you that now that the sound is better. I created, implemented, tweaked, and tested everything. David also double checked my work for quality assurance. If you still feel that the sound isn't good enough then I don't know what to tell you. I'll try harder next time. Just remember that it was only me doing it all part-time. I did my best to the very last possible moment and I take full responsibility and pride in my craft.

For the gamers and fans that do love it, Thank you so much!!! You are the reason that I worked as hard as I did with the sound. Why I gladly lost sleep. Why I stressed out about the polish. Why I tried new techniques that I haven't done before musically and technically. I wanted you guys to really love it and be even more lost than the prequel. This is my personal letter and HUGE THANK YOU to you all for giving the game the chance, playing it over and over, caring and being involved.

Game on!

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Reviews

“I Can’t Escape: Darkness is the indie horror game version of “Cube”, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”
-- RETRONUKE

“Fancy Fish Games has managed to create the most difficult to reproduce terror; psychological.”
-- Arkadian

“... its great strength is in creating a very, very tense atmosphere, pressing players to keep moving towards things they’d rather not meet anywhere, let alone the dark.”
-- Games Fiends

About This Game

I Can’t Escape: Darkness is an atmospheric horror adventure game that pulls you into a living dungeon where everything conspires against your escape. It is an immersive journey into the unknown, personified by the Darkness itself. Your odds of escape are slim, and when you fail, the dungeon will change before you can try again. Defend yourself from the Darkness with whatever light you can find; once your light burns out, the Darkness will consume you.

What You Get:

  • An Infinitely Replayable Living, Breathing Dungeon - Experience dim hallways and caves carved out for unknown purposes and designed to trap all who dare enter. One false step, and you will fall into darkness forever; and when you return, nothing will be exactly as you remembered.
  • The Truth About The Darkness - Discover clues about the tomb and the story of The Darkness as you try to make your escape.
  • A Guaranteed Uneasy Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach - The very walls want you to stay; they will try everything to keep you trapped in the dark. Your eyes and ears will mislead you - you’ll want to get the hell out of the dungeon as fast as you can.
  • The More You Explore, The More You Will Find - Secrets, surprises, and special rooms are hidden on every floor.
  • Tweet Your Escape… Or Your Death - When you die, you can let your Twitter followers know how far you made it and what killed you, or perhaps if you're lucky, how long it took you to escape!

What We Get:

  • The Sadistic Pleasure of Seeing You Die on Twitter - We’re watching, and every time you don’t escape, and even when you do, it brightens our day.
  • More “I Can’t Escape!” - Fancy Fish Games is a small studio; we appreciate your support, and we look forward to challenging, trapping and tricking you in more games to come!

The Follow-Up:

I Can't Escape: Darkness is the spiritual successor to our popular 2013 game "I Can't Escape," which we developed in just one month, and which spooked and thrilled over 250,000 players. We decided to take the simple concept of "I Can't Escape" - a creepy, immersive, and expectation-challenging dungeon experience - and flesh it out into a full game while retaining the fundamental spirit of the original. I Can't Escape: Darkness is designed to invoke feelings of being lost and alone, encouraging player's imaginations to run wild while providing subtle hints of terror (rather than in-your-face savagery). What will you see and hear in the Darkness? Unpleasant things which we - the developers - intentionally placed, or terrors from your own imagination?

Reaction compilation for the original I Can’t Escape (click to play)

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 with ARB or EXT Framebuffer Objects
    • Storage: 120 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 with ARB or EXT Framebuffer Objects
    • Storage: 120 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 with ARB or EXT Framebuffer Objects
    • Storage: 120 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Positive (34 reviews)
Recently Posted
Mz. Hyde (Dark Vexen)
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 22
Criminally underated in my opinion, This game defines an atmosphere of horror, unlike being filled with jump scares left and right such as Slender. However, the monsters are not scary at all, rats, vines, whoopdeedoo right? But it nails atmosphere right on the money. I would reccomend this game highly on a sale due to me enjoying it so far, but as it stands, its not worth 11 dollars. quite expensive for this, when you can get something such as Terraria, which has given me 300 hours of play for only 10 dollars. But this game, while it has its faults, nails its main points.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
123qwe
( 12.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 2
A great game!
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Horror Fox :3
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
Hey everyone and this is my review about the game!

This is a Survival Dungeon crawler game.


Interface/Menu/Settings

There is a Tutorial.
There is a slide bar for Music/Sound/Gamma and Mouse sensitivity.
You can change the Graphics quality from low to high. But i am not sure if this has any affects.
You can play this fullscreen or window mode.
There are a couple of different languages.
You can change the controls.
You can play this game with the xbox controller. (Which i do not recommend).


About the game.

The game offers you a Tutorial if you want attempt to bypass this.
Game is difficult.
You have to find the right key to open the door.
Combat music is like a "Tribe" Feelings, With drums.
You can allow maps and save your game. (Turn save game off if you prefer perma-deaths).
The graphics are "okay" a bit pixelated.
Soundtrack fits the theme.
It has the same walking style as "Legend of grimrock". Walking speed isn't fast.
When you turn up the light
Animations are a bit weird.
You have a backpack/inventory, where you can collect stuff. The bigger the item, the more space it will require to place.


Other things.

If you do not trust a floor tile, Place a rock onto it and see if it falls down. However the rock will be dropped down a floor below.
The eye balls in the wall create some light whenever you are looking at it.
Look carefully where you walk, if a floor tile is darker then another you might fall a floor level lower.

The game is not scary, There are some "horror" Elements but they are not scary or anything.

Putting the Gamma on the highest will remove MOST of the darkness out of the game. Unless you walk in the Darkness Fog barrier. This could make the game alot easier.

Game pace is slow because you walk slow.
Enemies will never walk on "hidden trap floor tiles"
The game doesn't have a life bar, which is a shame.. Yea your screen get hits but it's not telling you how much HP you got

-------------------

I Give this game a 7/10
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Saslic
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
Really good game and I am enjoying it. The tense creepy atmosphere really gets to me. It's great to find a horror game that doesn't have jumpscares. Due to the game's punishing nature even rats feel like a real threat. In case it isn't clear, the movement is very much like Legend of Grimrock. You can equip an item to either of your hands, to have a light, a weapon, or other items ready to use.

Due to the procedural level generation I can see situations arising when you feel like the game is unfair, though I just experienced the complete opposite. I kept finding hidden pits in the floor that dropped me further and further down, till I reached the end with nothing on me but the starting items. Still scared as hell while going through it though.

Game is definitely worth buying, go for it. If you like horror, you wont be disappointed.
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Mr. Nice Hat
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 9
When I saw this on the store I assumed it would be some kind of eldritch pitch black horror experience with a claustrophobic element similar to Amnesia, sadly I was wrong. The goal of the game is to escape a 3D dungeon from a first person perspective by going down floor by floor, avoiding rats and sentient moss balls along the way. There is a third enemy, but I will get to him later.

When I first started the game, I made sure to dim my lights and play with a controller. Despite this, I just could not get immersed. The controls work similar to the first Elder Scrolls games or a first person classic Tomb Raider game; you can move foward one step, step backwards, turn sharp left, sharp right, or sidestep to the left and right. Essentially you're on a grid the entire time and can only make very specific movements. This does not help me feel like I'm in this dungeon, as I tend to end up walking backwards through the dungeon and just moving in very unconventional ways, practically fighting with the controls.

The inventory is just awful. You can equip two items, one item in each hand. This is done by picking the item up and placing it in your desired hand slot. This sounds fine on paper, but I found that the most successful way to get through the dungeon is to keep moving, which results in a lot of dropped items. One time I was on the final floor of the dungeon. I unequiped my flashlight to check how much battery it had left, but I accidently pressed my use button and ended up throwing the flashlight down the halls, rendering me blind. I can probably see how this system would work if there was some actual need for inventory management, but there are so few items that it just becomes a chore and pulls me out of the experience.

The nail in the coffin for this game for me was the enemies. The graphics were fine- they reminded me of a mixture of Thief and Lovecraftian horror- the sound design was gritty and worked in helping me get immersed before being pulled out again by the previously mentioned problems, but the enemies are just not scary at all. As mentioned at the start, the two main enemies are rats and small moss balls, but there is a third. The third enemy is a ghost who wanders through the maze, it doesn't attack you, nor does it do anything remotely threatening. The most I've seen it do is glance at me as it glides past. That's not scary to me at all, I have no reason to be scared of a ghost who does nothing but mind its' own business.

Overall, this is a pretty but poorly designed horror game. If you're going to make a grid-based dungeon crawler, make one, but it does not work for a horror game where the whole point is to be immersed and scared as a result. Unless you're born with a disability where you can only turn at 90 degree angles, play something else.
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Lazerpen100
( 25.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 7
Do I recommend this game? Yes.

Does this game deserve it's current (Feb 7, 2016) Metacritic score of 40? No.

To begin, let's break down a few things from the “About This Game” section.

1) “An Infinitely Replayable Living, Breathing Dungeon”
This one is mostly hyperbole. It's true that the setting is quite good, as is fitting for any horror story in which the location/environment is almost a character in and of itself. The game having “infinitely replayable” is by definition true, the same way that the ocean has infinite re-sailability. You've never see the same fish, wave, or storm in the same place twice, but after enough trips out it all sort of blends together and you get a good idea of what to expect. Nothing new shows up; it's just in different places (just like other rogue-like games).

2) “The Truth About The Darkness”
Yes! This game is surprisingly intricate. There's a ton of little details and hidden clues on top of everything you'll find out just in a more “casual play through.” There's lots of backstory (both directly stated and halfway hinted at) that you can pull out of the game if you merely try hard enough and pay attention.

3) “A Guaranteed Uneasy Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach”
A definite yes! I've played through dozens and dozens of runs in the game and have over 24 hours on record, and the game still gets me wigged out at times. As a self-professed horror junky, this game will definitely get you immersed. Not to mention the newest update tweaked out all the sound effects, and all for the better in my opinion. This game would be fantastic for a VR headset.

4) “The More You Explore, The More You Will Find”
Also definitely true. As mentioned above in point 2, there are so many little things in this game. There are a lot of good secrets and several good puzzles too. Not to mention that the dev claims I have “almost all the secrets,” but not actually all of them. I have no idea what I've missed, but apparently even I could still find more.

5) “Tweet Your Escape… Or Your Death”
Yes, you can. It doesn't do anything in-game, but it could be fun depending on your social preferences.

As for my more general comments, this is definitely a more retro style game. Very much like point-and-click adventurer games, very old-school in it's controls. The controls are probably the weakest aspect of the whole game when comparing this to other, more modern games, though I did find the controls to give I Can't Escape: Darkness (ICE:D) a rather unique feel and character. The controls aren't hard to get used to, but you may likely find yourself fumbling when you get into your first few panics.

I can't comment much on some of the negative things that have been said about the game. Most of the negative things brought up in other reviews had no real impact on me while I was playing the game. The game definitely demands patience from you and a certain analytically mindset and a resilience to failure, all aspects I can easily see as being weak points for perhaps a majority percentage of gamers. I know I tend to get frustrated a little easily myself.
It's almost certainly unfair to have just insinuated that the failure to enjoy this game is on the players themselves, rather than the game itself. There are things about ICE:D that could have been tweaked or polished, but at the end of the day this game is going to demand a different style of play because it is a different style of game. Perhaps the true root of the problem is in the style itself; consider how this genre of game basically doesn't exist anymore. (Yes, yes, Grimrock exists, but I don't think you could argue it made any big waves when it came out.)

But I digress. Bottomline: I do recommend this game. If you like puzzles, if you like being in creepy places, if you like trying games that are different than the current market, if you like very challenging games, or if this strikes your interest at all really, I'd go ahead and get it. Trust your gut. It's not expensive and I think you'll at least be interested by your time here.

Also, do note that the devs have continued to support this game and tweak things based on the feedback they've been getting from players. David Maletz has been continuously active on the Steam forums for the game, and Chase Bethea has continued doing some really cool work on the sound design. While these are component pieces and not a main focus for most players, I think it is only fair to acknowledge the work their team has been and is still doing.

Also check out firmwares' review. I agree with everything they said.
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198057478381/recommended/346090/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
regicide~
( 11.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 3
I Can't Escape: Darkness is really made for certain types of people. You will either love it or hate it. It's cryptic, unfair, mysterious, and confusing. If you're looking for a spooky game to hold your hand, give you hints when you're stuck, and explain how things work, this is not the game for you.

If you can handle repeatedly dying for experimentation and accept that the real fun is within exploring and the secrets inherent in the levels and not in the story, this is a damn good game that always has another facet to ponder.

Has a old-school vibe to it, both in the graphics and the approach (basically unguided, screw yourself if you want).

My only real gripe beyond this is that the controls earn't great. Particularly, the whole space vs F right hand left hand thing and the q and e to turn instead of following the mouse or something.

Overall, I wish more games were made like this.
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TRU±Identity
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 6
Key supplied by developer for review.
======================================
I Can't Escape: Darkness
(Read on for the full review!)
======================================

TL;DR:
I Can't Escape: Darkness has much to offer, and very very little to dislike. Once you adjust or change the controls to your liking, you'll find yourself with a smooth experience of exploration and dread. There are no jumpscares, and a lot of care has been taken to incorporate many great elements of other games or genres together well. The art and theme is consistent, the font is legible, the UI is nice, and the whole experience is modern while retaining a lovely nostalgic feeling. It offers enough content for the price, but depending on the way you play your games, or the style of games you like to play, it may offer less longevity for you than others. Take your time to consider whether it is the type of game for before you decide to buy it at full price.

======================================

Pros:
+ Atmosphere: First and foremost, the atmosphere is the biggest pro of ICED. Foreboding.
+ Graphics: Serviceable, a bit nostalgic, not bad by any means, but keep in mind it isn't Crisis.
+ Audio: Crisp, fitting sound FX with contrasting whimsical BGM adds to the tensity.
+ Font: Special shoutout to any dev who uses legible fonts.
+ UI: Fans of Ultima or other select RPGs/MMOs will enjoy having a small bag with inventory management, and other nice touches.
+ Variable: The things I have seen, even already...
+ Procedural: But not from the very start (I think,) which is nice, because that could would be horribly frustrating.
+ Jump Scares: What jump scares?
+ Tension: The limited light supply keeps you coiled, ready to spring.
+ Concept: There is added innovation to what Grimrock offers.
+ Saving: SAVE SLOTS! You should always have a lot of save slots if your game can be saved!
+ Realism: While it is a bit silly to die to a few bites from a rat, I like that you aren't a sponge.
+ Secrets: It's a secret!
+ Developer: I'm putting in an 'aside' in the comments if you are interested.

Cons:
While few, these cons are related to systems integral to gameplay, and thus have a large impact.
- Movement: With no queuing, I wish moving to the next tile/turning was a bit more responsive.
- Controls: While very customizable, I couldn't find a way to map analog stick movements, because it would just move it to the alternate option. I also couldn't find a reset option.
- Inventory: I would really like to see inventory navigation relocated to D-Pad movement, while temporarily disabling whatever functions you have assigned to it.

Neutral:
+/- Not really much I feel neutral about.

======================================

Introduction:
Welcome to I Can't Escape: Darkness, AKA ICED, a dungeon-crawling adventure where you have to go deeper and deeper in an attempt to fight for your freedom! ICED offers an awesome innovation on the Grimrock style: A first person aspect, ala Myst or Amnesia style interaction. Speaking of Amnesia, you get a flashlight with limited battery life and a lighter with limited fuel, and there are a lot of dark rooms, so have fun with that addition to this genre!

Gameplay:
The gameplay of ICED is fairly straightforward. You're a foolhardy adventurer who has stumbled into a dungeon and now you are trapped and the whole place wants you dead. Great. Forge your way through the darkness with your trusty flashlight, one tile at a time. Forward, back, left, right, 90 degree turn. You can pick up objects, and either keep them in your hand, say to throw them, or equip them to your hands to wield them. You also have a small inventory, an actual bag in the UI, where you can stash a select few things in a grid.

Initially, you start with one of these useable objects: a measly stick. You're going to need it to kill your first few rats, but hopefully you can find something better, soon. Every object has a purpose, so you'll have to figure out what is best to keep and what you can skip, or find ways to utilize them before you need more space. Combat is a simple prospect of swinging your weapon in front of you aimed at one tile, while the enemy does the same. You can move around them, and they can move around you, while you can't swing mid-turn or move, you can hit or be hit in this process, so use it to your advantage! Unfortunately, it isn't quite as smooth to execute as it is in Grimrock.

Most of the gameplay of ICED involves the environment, though. It will fight you, it will try to trick and trap you. It will creep you out and make you make mistakes. You will fall to the next floor unprepared. You will be crushed. You will run out of light. You will have a constant sense of dread; of being hurried, but all the same, it's exciting to discover all the neat varieties and new things in your dungeon exploration. This is a game about facing challenges, traps, and hurdles, and the balancing act of escaping the dungeon quickly or taking your time to not make mistakes while escaping.

Personally, it is hard for me to play ICED. This is because it is EFFECTIVE. All of these elements- the limited light, the need to hurry to make use of it, the need to not hurry so you don't fall to traps, the combat encounters that can mess up both of these approaches for you, and the sheer variety of creepy sights in the environment-all combine to make this dungeon a god damn unsettling, creepy, foreboding location where you will feel tense and pressured. This is what makes your successes all the more rewarding, and the discoveries or items that are small hopes turn into beacons of light in your struggle to live.

Graphics:
Oldschool, modernized. It's not breathtaking, but it is consistent, and isn't bad. It is nostalgic, and picks selectively from colors, themes, light sources, and the varying densities of darkness. It is simple, and it works.

I can say, however, that it works better in action than in the screenshots, so take a quick look at a trailer or gameplay video to decide if you'll like it, love it, tolerate it, or hate it.

I should also mention that the models and animations are decent, and whimsical. Any deficiencies present just add to their charm and to the environment quite well. Shortcomings have been made into strengths. While there may be some aliasing, or textures that could use a slightly higher resolution or more detail, remember that the more detail you add, the easier it is to lose your consistency and thus realism. Extremely accurate, high detail models and textures with poor lighting would make a far worse impression.

Audio:
The music gives off a vibe of mystery and wonder, which makes the horror all the more horrifying when it hits. I like nearly all of the sound effects, and respect the crisp timing and sound quality of them. They, too, seem to have that subtle hint of roughness, that somehow makes them all the more effective when tied together with the rest of the elements of the game. Like the objects in the game, every sound has a purpose, and fills it well.

Conclusion:
If you like dungeon crawlers, rogue-likes, or nostalgia-filled trips into the dark, or horror that isn't based on jump scares, then you will love I Can't Escape: Darkness. Whether for 10 minutes, or hours at a time, it will offer a rich and rewarding experience. I can safely recommend this game at full price, but a small sale never hurts.

======================================

No drama, Just Reviews.

If you like my reviews or want to see more, you can easily keep up with them here.

======================================
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EiMitch
( 8.1 hrs on record )
Posted: December 25, 2015
Recommended, but with caveats:

I've enjoyed ICE:D. It's a slow-burning horror game that takes it time to build a feeling of despair. Having said that, I suppose I technically didn't enjoy it. But that was the point of the game, so I love it. I wish I could say something the store page doesn't, but I'd be spoiling the experience.

Having said that, I've read critics negative reviews and seen let's-players who disliked it. So I looked for more of those to understand why not. And I've reached two conclusions:

1) If you're expecting the wrong kind of game, you WILL be disappointed. Some got the first impression that ICE:D is like Legend of Grimrock, only to be let down by the simplistic combat and by puzzles less complex than LoG. Those elements aren't the focus of ICE:D. Also, don't except old-school survival horror akin to Resident Evil and Silent Hill. It's not that kind of horror game.

2) The psychological approach of this game is like coriander/cilantro. Either you enjoy it, or it just tastes like soap. The slow burn approach combined with trial-&-error and rogue-like gameplay can frustrate, bore, or otherwise turn-off some people. But an optional save feature does mitigate the later two elements' impact if it bothers you.

The easy way to gauge in advance whether you'll love or hate this game is to search for "I Can't Escape" on Newgrounds. (or wherever flash games get re-upped) It's a simpler "proof-of-concept", but it's free. If you enjoy it like I did, then I can't recommend ICE:D enough. Otherwise, well...
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Ether Traveler
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: October 15, 2015
This summarizes my last playthrough of this:

"I literally dropped into this game...
It has great ambience and randomizes every time I play.
I have a stick for a weapon and these rats are easy...
Entering secret passage, now I have telepathy.
I'll just have to keep going and hoping for a clue...
I fell down a hole and found a mushroom.
Beyond this sphincter is a heart and I am a traitor...
Animated vines killed me. I'll try again later."


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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
40 of 42 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
I Can't Escape: Darkness is the spiritual successor to "I Can't Escape" (feels like a direct successor :P). The gameplay has been polished up, a bit more depth added, and visually improved. The audio is also superior.

Pros:
- Replayability is high due to Procedural Generation of mazes/dungeon.
- It's not a "Jump Scare" game, but rather a tension building game as your resources dwindle in increasingly difficult areas.
- Music and Atmosphere is very strong* (* - see caveat in cons)
- Distinct Style and polished feel make it superior to the previous iteration of the game

Cons:
- Some of the sound effects are a bit weak (the music at atmosphere noises are great though)
- Hard to notice when an enemy is attacking/approaching you, and the direction isn't clearly stated (a necessity in this type of game movement)

Notes:
- Won't give you an immediate adrenaline rush for any moment that I found, instead focuses on the slow burn approach (suspense)
- Is definitely an indie title, with a limited budget - the graphics are 'good', but won't blow you away.
- Fairly low system requirements make it easily accessible
- Game Session Length is pretty short, save function is optional though in case you don't have the time to commit. (I very rarely had sessions over 30 minutes).

If you'd like to see the game in action, I did make a video, but only loosely cover the pros/cons in it (felt an itemized list was better saved for the text review)

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=519912409
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39 of 46 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Key supplied by developer for review.
======================================
I Can't Escape: Darkness
(Read on for the full review!)
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TL;DR:
I Can't Escape: Darkness has much to offer, and very very little to dislike. Once you adjust or change the controls to your liking, you'll find yourself with a smooth experience of exploration and dread. There are no jumpscares, and a lot of care has been taken to incorporate many great elements of other games or genres together well. The art and theme is consistent, the font is legible, the UI is nice, and the whole experience is modern while retaining a lovely nostalgic feeling. It offers enough content for the price, but depending on the way you play your games, or the style of games you like to play, it may offer less longevity for you than others. Take your time to consider whether it is the type of game for before you decide to buy it at full price.

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Pros:
+ Atmosphere: First and foremost, the atmosphere is the biggest pro of ICED. Foreboding.
+ Graphics: Serviceable, a bit nostalgic, not bad by any means, but keep in mind it isn't Crisis.
+ Audio: Crisp, fitting sound FX with contrasting whimsical BGM adds to the tensity.
+ Font: Special shoutout to any dev who uses legible fonts.
+ UI: Fans of Ultima or other select RPGs/MMOs will enjoy having a small bag with inventory management, and other nice touches.
+ Variable: The things I have seen, even already...
+ Procedural: But not from the very start (I think,) which is nice, because that could would be horribly frustrating.
+ Jump Scares: What jump scares?
+ Tension: The limited light supply keeps you coiled, ready to spring.
+ Concept: There is added innovation to what Grimrock offers.
+ Saving: SAVE SLOTS! You should always have a lot of save slots if your game can be saved!
+ Realism: While it is a bit silly to die to a few bites from a rat, I like that you aren't a sponge.
+ Secrets: It's a secret!
+ Developer: I'm putting in an 'aside' in the comments if you are interested.

Cons:
While few, these cons are related to systems integral to gameplay, and thus have a large impact.
- Movement: With no queuing, I wish moving to the next tile/turning was a bit more responsive.
- Controls: While very customizable, I couldn't find a way to map analog stick movements, because it would just move it to the alternate option. I also couldn't find a reset option.
- Inventory: I would really like to see inventory navigation relocated to D-Pad movement, while temporarily disabling whatever functions you have assigned to it.

Neutral:
+/- Not really much I feel neutral about.

======================================

Introduction:
Welcome to I Can't Escape: Darkness, AKA ICED, a dungeon-crawling adventure where you have to go deeper and deeper in an attempt to fight for your freedom! ICED offers an awesome innovation on the Grimrock style: A first person aspect, ala Myst or Amnesia style interaction. Speaking of Amnesia, you get a flashlight with limited battery life and a lighter with limited fuel, and there are a lot of dark rooms, so have fun with that addition to this genre!

Gameplay:
The gameplay of ICED is fairly straightforward. You're a foolhardy adventurer who has stumbled into a dungeon and now you are trapped and the whole place wants you dead. Great. Forge your way through the darkness with your trusty flashlight, one tile at a time. Forward, back, left, right, 90 degree turn. You can pick up objects, and either keep them in your hand, say to throw them, or equip them to your hands to wield them. You also have a small inventory, an actual bag in the UI, where you can stash a select few things in a grid.

Initially, you start with one of these useable objects: a measly stick. You're going to need it to kill your first few rats, but hopefully you can find something better, soon. Every object has a purpose, so you'll have to figure out what is best to keep and what you can skip, or find ways to utilize them before you need more space. Combat is a simple prospect of swinging your weapon in front of you aimed at one tile, while the enemy does the same. You can move around them, and they can move around you, while you can't swing mid-turn or move, you can hit or be hit in this process, so use it to your advantage! Unfortunately, it isn't quite as smooth to execute as it is in Grimrock.

Most of the gameplay of ICED involves the environment, though. It will fight you, it will try to trick and trap you. It will creep you out and make you make mistakes. You will fall to the next floor unprepared. You will be crushed. You will run out of light. You will have a constant sense of dread; of being hurried, but all the same, it's exciting to discover all the neat varieties and new things in your dungeon exploration. This is a game about facing challenges, traps, and hurdles, and the balancing act of escaping the dungeon quickly or taking your time to not make mistakes while escaping.

Personally, it is hard for me to play ICED. This is because it is EFFECTIVE. All of these elements- the limited light, the need to hurry to make use of it, the need to not hurry so you don't fall to traps, the combat encounters that can mess up both of these approaches for you, and the sheer variety of creepy sights in the environment-all combine to make this dungeon a god damn unsettling, creepy, foreboding location where you will feel tense and pressured. This is what makes your successes all the more rewarding, and the discoveries or items that are small hopes turn into beacons of light in your struggle to live.

Graphics:
Oldschool, modernized. It's not breathtaking, but it is consistent, and isn't bad. It is nostalgic, and picks selectively from colors, themes, light sources, and the varying densities of darkness. It is simple, and it works.

I can say, however, that it works better in action than in the screenshots, so take a quick look at a trailer or gameplay video to decide if you'll like it, love it, tolerate it, or hate it.

I should also mention that the models and animations are decent, and whimsical. Any deficiencies present just add to their charm and to the environment quite well. Shortcomings have been made into strengths. While there may be some aliasing, or textures that could use a slightly higher resolution or more detail, remember that the more detail you add, the easier it is to lose your consistency and thus realism. Extremely accurate, high detail models and textures with poor lighting would make a far worse impression.

Audio:
The music gives off a vibe of mystery and wonder, which makes the horror all the more horrifying when it hits. I like nearly all of the sound effects, and respect the crisp timing and sound quality of them. They, too, seem to have that subtle hint of roughness, that somehow makes them all the more effective when tied together with the rest of the elements of the game. Like the objects in the game, every sound has a purpose, and fills it well.

Conclusion:
If you like dungeon crawlers, rogue-likes, or nostalgia-filled trips into the dark, or horror that isn't based on jump scares, then you will love I Can't Escape: Darkness. Whether for 10 minutes, or hours at a time, it will offer a rich and rewarding experience. I can safely recommend this game at full price, but a small sale never hurts.

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No drama, Just Reviews.

If you like my reviews or want to see more, you can easily keep up with them here.

======================================
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2015
Let me say this: If you haven't played the original, go do it. It's free. This game is basically the first game on an extraordinary amount of steroids. The claustrophobic, crushing atmosphere of the first is present here in spades. The first game had a very silly and convoluted "solution" of sorts, but was so drenched in atmosphere that it managed to be amazing anyways.

This game seems to take the silly aspects of the first game and toss them to the side. So all that's left is a legitimately awesome, distilled experience. Let me tell you, this game is pretty ♥♥♥♥ing hard too. Managing your resources is HARD. You really have to pay EXTREMELY close attention to your resources and take every decision very seriously.

Losing as it were is not a very big deal. It sucks to lose of course, but part of enjoying this game is learning from your mistakes. I don't want to call it a roguelite (it's very much NOT) but this game is not meant to be completed in just a few attempts. You will ♥♥♥♥ up and die, but each death will teach you something valuable.

I spent probably a good 20 hours with the first title, and I haven't had that much time to play with this game, but I can already tell you this game will consume me when I get the time to properly sit down and digest it.

tl;dr: Go play the first (FREE) game. Enjoy it? Then get this. This is the first game x100.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
Really excellent puzzle / horror game. Each run through and death teaches you something new, and it's hard to not want to jump back in from the start and give it just one more go. Really well done.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
Do I recommend this game? Yes.

Does this game deserve it's current (Feb 7, 2016) Metacritic score of 40? No.

To begin, let's break down a few things from the “About This Game” section.

1) “An Infinitely Replayable Living, Breathing Dungeon”
This one is mostly hyperbole. It's true that the setting is quite good, as is fitting for any horror story in which the location/environment is almost a character in and of itself. The game having “infinitely replayable” is by definition true, the same way that the ocean has infinite re-sailability. You've never see the same fish, wave, or storm in the same place twice, but after enough trips out it all sort of blends together and you get a good idea of what to expect. Nothing new shows up; it's just in different places (just like other rogue-like games).

2) “The Truth About The Darkness”
Yes! This game is surprisingly intricate. There's a ton of little details and hidden clues on top of everything you'll find out just in a more “casual play through.” There's lots of backstory (both directly stated and halfway hinted at) that you can pull out of the game if you merely try hard enough and pay attention.

3) “A Guaranteed Uneasy Feeling in the Pit of Your Stomach”
A definite yes! I've played through dozens and dozens of runs in the game and have over 24 hours on record, and the game still gets me wigged out at times. As a self-professed horror junky, this game will definitely get you immersed. Not to mention the newest update tweaked out all the sound effects, and all for the better in my opinion. This game would be fantastic for a VR headset.

4) “The More You Explore, The More You Will Find”
Also definitely true. As mentioned above in point 2, there are so many little things in this game. There are a lot of good secrets and several good puzzles too. Not to mention that the dev claims I have “almost all the secrets,” but not actually all of them. I have no idea what I've missed, but apparently even I could still find more.

5) “Tweet Your Escape… Or Your Death”
Yes, you can. It doesn't do anything in-game, but it could be fun depending on your social preferences.

As for my more general comments, this is definitely a more retro style game. Very much like point-and-click adventurer games, very old-school in it's controls. The controls are probably the weakest aspect of the whole game when comparing this to other, more modern games, though I did find the controls to give I Can't Escape: Darkness (ICE:D) a rather unique feel and character. The controls aren't hard to get used to, but you may likely find yourself fumbling when you get into your first few panics.

I can't comment much on some of the negative things that have been said about the game. Most of the negative things brought up in other reviews had no real impact on me while I was playing the game. The game definitely demands patience from you and a certain analytically mindset and a resilience to failure, all aspects I can easily see as being weak points for perhaps a majority percentage of gamers. I know I tend to get frustrated a little easily myself.
It's almost certainly unfair to have just insinuated that the failure to enjoy this game is on the players themselves, rather than the game itself. There are things about ICE:D that could have been tweaked or polished, but at the end of the day this game is going to demand a different style of play because it is a different style of game. Perhaps the true root of the problem is in the style itself; consider how this genre of game basically doesn't exist anymore. (Yes, yes, Grimrock exists, but I don't think you could argue it made any big waves when it came out.)

But I digress. Bottomline: I do recommend this game. If you like puzzles, if you like being in creepy places, if you like trying games that are different than the current market, if you like very challenging games, or if this strikes your interest at all really, I'd go ahead and get it. Trust your gut. It's not expensive and I think you'll at least be interested by your time here.

Also, do note that the devs have continued to support this game and tweak things based on the feedback they've been getting from players. David Maletz has been continuously active on the Steam forums for the game, and Chase Bethea has continued doing some really cool work on the sound design. While these are component pieces and not a main focus for most players, I think it is only fair to acknowledge the work their team has been and is still doing.

Also check out firmwares' review. I agree with everything they said.
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198057478381/recommended/346090/
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2015
It's a really tense game. It's the kind of game where the unknown plus all the sounds make you feel really uncomfortable, but it doesn't have jumpscares. As other reviewers have said, it's all about building the tension.

It's also not a rougelike, despite being procedurally generated. Every time you play you learn something new about the game and can push slightly further ahead. But of course since there's a bit of randomness to the game, you will sometimes find yourself in very uncomfortable situations.

My Scare-O-Meter reads: nopenopenope
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
Full Disclosure: I was given a copy for review on YouTube by the publisher.

Taking many elements from classic horror and dungeon crawler games of old, I Can't Escape: Darkness manages to keep you in a constant state of panic, with a hint of adrenaline. Explore old ruins that move and change around you as you try to find your way out of the darkness by going deeper. Great action. Great horror. Great experience. GET IT!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxQ6MtXslyU
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2015
Soundtrack while playing:

Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger

This is a pleasant little game. And by that I mean it’s been designed by Lucifer himself.

If you like Mazes, or old school first person dungeon crawlers minus the combat being turned base, dying a lot due to rats, poison, falling and cthulhu’s ball sack killing you then this is a game for you.

Do you like puzzles? searching for keys? Back tracking or losing your car in the mouth of hell? How about losing your way, or seeing the same wall 300 times? Or was it the same wall? Aw man, the walls move too.

Oh look a hole, oh, gravity works and suddenly you’re a floor down with what I imagine are broken legs.

If you don’t like rats, the plague or anything else listed above then this is probably not for you.

Fortunately, I’m a masochist in video games. I love it when they’re hard and designed that way. I swear a lot when I play them, but I’m in them for the long haul.

What I don’t like is video games that are poorly designed. Where I get stuck on walls, or even an enemy and then because someone smacks with me a trout until I eat all the cheese wheels in the kingdom, and still don't have enough health and die.

This game however, is not one of those.

It’s an awesome little throwback to old school games where you had to think, and remember things. The type of game that you would keep a notepad by your desk so you can remember a code (haven’t seen any code needing doors yet.) But yes, your memory will help you here. As will rock throwing.

Chuck that s**t, so hard.

Really, you should get it, it’s fun. Time consuming, and yet again, another game that I can play for a few minutes at a time.

It’s immersive, beautiful in it’s own way, terrifying in others. It even tracks how poorly you do. I assume that’s for how well you did, but I’m a pessimist by nature.

I also really like the way the flashlight works in the game, Just the light moves around, not your whole head. Which I guess is an odd thing to like, but it’s my damn review, so hush.

I’ve yet to complete it, because I keep finding new ways to kill myself. But I intend to complete this and find my way out. and for 11.99 you can get as much time as you’re willing to get out of it.

The overall point is to make it down to the final level, and then survive a trip back up.

So it’s a lot like Black Friday sales.
Only you don’t have to put on pants, or leave the house.

Unless you’re in Kentucky, then it’s exactly like Black Friday Sales.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
I knew instanly I would enjoy I Can't Escape: Darkness. It blends horror and grid based CRPG exploration which are two of my favorite genres. The aren't really any RPG elements to speak of but lots of puzzles and areas to explore. The visual style really reminds me of legend of grimrock with some really nice pixel art graphics. So far, the only real combat is hitting the watching eyes and killing a few rats here and there. Overall a really atmospheric game and some really good puzzles that aren't overly difficult.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I Can't Escape: Darkness is really made for certain types of people. You will either love it or hate it. It's cryptic, unfair, mysterious, and confusing. If you're looking for a spooky game to hold your hand, give you hints when you're stuck, and explain how things work, this is not the game for you.

If you can handle repeatedly dying for experimentation and accept that the real fun is within exploring and the secrets inherent in the levels and not in the story, this is a damn good game that always has another facet to ponder.

Has a old-school vibe to it, both in the graphics and the approach (basically unguided, screw yourself if you want).

My only real gripe beyond this is that the controls earn't great. Particularly, the whole space vs F right hand left hand thing and the q and e to turn instead of following the mouse or something.

Overall, I wish more games were made like this.
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